On Monday, August 6, viewers watched Bachelorette lead Becca Kufrin finally get the happily ever after that she so deserves. Unfortunately, not everyone, myself included, believes that she chose the right guy.
Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled that Becca has found her one person and that she is happy with her choice. I wish her and Garrett nothing but the best. However, watching Garrett progress further into the season after receiving the coveted First Impression Rose made me increasingly concerned. This concern stems from a series of pictures on Instagram that Garrett "liked".
Shortly before Becca's season started airing, fans of the Bachelor franchise were made aware that one of her contestants had a habit of liking pictures from alt-right, conservative accounts. These pictures included content that mocked members of the LGBTQ+ community, feminists, survivors of the Parkland shooting, immigrants, those who kneel for the National Anthem, and liberals. My first thought was that this contestant wouldn't make it very far, as Becca is very vocal about her feminist and liberal beliefs. When the season began, I quickly realized that political beliefs are not a hot topic on romantic one-on-one dates, and it became clear that Garrett was going to be a front-runner.
Garrett made it to the final two, along with my favorite contestant from this season, Blake. Even without my knowledge of Garrett's Instagram history, I still would have preferred Blake between the two. Blake talked about Becca as a teammate and a partner in crime. Garrett talked about her as someone who would make a good wife and mother, almost referring to her as if she were a piece of property. Blake was compelling and sweet during his alone time with Becca while Garrett mostly spoke of how his previous marriage ending was all his ex-wife's fault. Blake survived a school shooting, while Garrett mocks survivors of the Parkland shooting. You can see the difference, and while I did prefer Blake, it was obvious that Becca and Garrett also had a connection.
Garrett did issue an apology before the season aired, and while it seemed sincere, I have to wonder how sorry he would be if the viewers didn't know about his Instagram history. Part of his apology said, "I never realized the power behind a mindless double tap on Instagram and how it bears so much weight on people's lives. I did not mean harm by any of it."
At the "After The Final Rose" special, I was pleasantly surprised to see Chris Harrison bring the issue up. Garrett apologized again, and Becca noted that the issue was something that they talked about and that it had been a struggle for them, but ultimately, it made them stronger. Garrett said "I'm just trying to grow as a person, be a better person on a daily basis... Because I feel like, when I was liking things, it was going against what she stands for, and it made it really hard on us as a couple. But we got through together, and we're growing, we're progressing, and we're moving forward."
My hope is that Garrett can learn and grow with Becca's help, but my concern is that while we all "like" stupid things on Instagram and Twitter, the content of Garrett's "likes" may be a part of his core values.
Even more disturbing than the pictures that Garrett "liked", are the comments now being left on his personal account. After posting a picture of himself and Becca on the day after the finale, I found comments that encouraged Garrett to "keep his conservative values". I do not believe that there is anything wrong with being conservative, but if someone is saying not to change your conservative views in regard to these posts, what they are really saying is not to change your sexist/racist/anti-LGBTQ+ views. Also disheartening were the comments that attacked and insulted Becca and her beliefs.
While I have been harsh on Garrett, I do appreciate his apology and that both he and Becca handled the situation well when talking about it during After The Final Rose. While everyone is entitled to their right to free speech, it also needs to be understood that there may be consequences to what is said and done. Again, I do wish Becca and Garrett the best and I hope that he will take this opportunity to expand his views and grow as a person.